Gazette 2.0 Photographer Lynne Deliman was voted '2020 Person of the Year' by readers.
By Jamie Wiggan
Lynne Deliman’s tireless work in the community helped fill a dark and difficult year with many bright moments.
Readers overwhelmingly backed Deliman for Gazette 2.0’s second annual Person of the Year award citing her lifelong devotion and service to “The Rocks.”
Deliman, who serves as photographer with the Gazette 2.0 team, was surprised by the win. “It takes a couple of hours of your time — just try to give back, try to make your community just a little bit better,” she said.
Whenever you run into Deliman outside of her work at Rite Aid in McKees Rocks chances are she’s helping out someone or some cause according to many of the 38 who nominated her for the award.
“Every time you hear about Lynne, it’s about something she’s doing for the community,” said Corrie Vincent, a McKees Rocks resident who’s known Deliman since grade school.
Since graduating from Sto-Rox High School in 1985, Deliman has been at the forefront of community events, whether helping prepare chicken dinners at the volunteer fire department, making pierogies to raise funds for Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church or working to bring “National Night Out” to the Sto-Rox communities.
Whenever she isn’t directly involved, Deliman is on the scene capturing the good deeds of others for her “‘Around Town” photography spread published in Gazette 2.0.
“You always just try to help your neighbors out, try to help your community,” Deliman said.
While driving along Chartiers Avenue on the way to work each day, the borough’s worn-out stock of saltboxes gave her a new idea.
“I thought, ‘What if we could get them painted and give the kids something to do while everyone’s at home?’”
She pitched the idea to some of her friends on McKees Rocks council, who settled the logistics and secured funding for supplies and gift cards for participating children.
The cheerful winter-themed saltboxes now draw smiles from everyone who passes by them — but perhaps more so, the work involved gave community members something to rally around, lifting spirits weighed down by isolation and illness during the pandemic.
From the McKees Rocks street department to neighborhood children and community business owners, Deliman said all sorts of folks pitched in.
“The kids loved it — the kids absolutely had the greatest time doing the saltboxes,” she said.
While events like the saltbox project place Deliman at the forefront of community efforts, at other times she can be found quietly serving behind the scenes.
Karen Isaacson, a McKees Rocks native who now lives in Ohio, said simple acts like placing flowers on memorial stones others may have forgotten are what make Deliman a true community leader.
“I just think what she does for the community, the school, just everything — she’s really just the greatest. She’s awesome,” said Isaacson, who got to know Deliman as a one-time colleague at the former McKees Rocks Thrift Drug pharmacy in the early 1990s.
Although many of her peers have since moved away, Deliman’s love for home has kept her local.
When she and her husband McKees Rocks Police Chief Rick Deliman eventually moved to the neighboring Kennedy Township community in search of a larger yard, they ruled out options further afield so they could stay involved in her hometown community.
“We get a bad rap in ‘The Rocks,’ but there’s many good people,” she said.
“All around here there’s really good people.”